Dec 08, 2020 - Brexit: Latest updates about the UK leaving the EU

The UK government has said talks with the EU on reaching a post-Brexit trade deal have reached a "critical stage".

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. If it feels like little has changed, that is because both sides agreed many things would stay the same for 11 months, to allow leaders time to agree a deal for life after Brexit.

Time runs out on 31 December, but things are far from settled. The two sides are still arguing about fishing rights and business competition rules.

The three main sticking points are:

  • The EU is worried the UK could give financial help to its own firm...

Dec 04, 2020 - How to apply for a Skilled Worker visa – explaining in simple words

EU citizens need visas too

With the end of EU free movement, the Skilled Worker route (like the rest of the Points Based Immigration System) is for EU citizens as well as non-EU citizens.

EU citizens who have arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020 can generally apply for a visa-free immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Getting settled or pre-settled status under this scheme is free, a sponsor isn’t needed and there are no restrictions on employment — no minimum salary levels etc. 

EU citizens who aren’t eligible for the Settlement Scheme have been able to submit an application...

Dec 03, 2020 - London authorities refuse to cooperate in targeting of rough sleeping migrants

This week Immigration Rule changes targeting rough sleeping migrants came into force. The Home Office has confirmed that the new Rules will not be enforced until official guidance is published, but the changes have been met with defiance across the board. 

In particular, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has stated that it will not cooperate with the Home Office on this issue:

rather than supporting people to come off the streets, these new rules will punish rough sleepers simply for not having a home. Therefore, the GLA and its commissioned services will not collaborate with such draconian m...

Dec 03, 2020 - Brexit: UK-EU trade deal possible within days

Political editors report that talks between UK and EU negotiators have progressed to a point where a trade deal could be agreed within days. Some sources sagest that the process is likely to be concluded in the next few days, with an ambassador saying there is a hope the agreement could be finalised on Friday, while another diplomatic source said a deal at the end of the week is a possibility.

Despite this, there are concerns that any deal may not be turned into law before the transition period ends at the end of the month unless the process starts by the middle of next week. The deal will hav...

Dec 02, 2020 - Six ways the pandemic has actually improved the immigration system

2020 has presented huge challenges for people trying to navigate the immigration system, for immigration advisers trying to support them, and for the Home Office and the courts. We’ve focused on changes to decision-making which could be made permanent without major legislative amendments. 

1. It’s way easier to lodge fresh claims for asylum

Before COVID-19, to submit a fresh claim application, people had to get an appointment and travel in person to Liverpool regardless of where they lived in the country. Most people we support to make a fresh claim are destitute. The risks are self-evident.


Dec 01, 2020 - New immigration routes launched in the UK from 01 December 2020

The Government has today (Tuesday 1 December) launched a number of immigration routes under the UK’s new points-based immigration system, including the flagship Skilled Worker route. 

The launch of these new immigration routes will ensure that businesses can continue to attract the brightest and best people from around the world, to complement the skills and talent we already have in the UK.

Free movement between the UK and the EU will end on 31 December 2020. From 1 January 2021, anyone coming to work or study in the UK from anywhere in the world, will need to apply through the points-based...

Nov 30, 2020 - Rishi Sunak faces state pension dilemma

Retired people are set to receive a 4.1% rise in the state pension in April 2022, an official forecast predicts.

The state pension is going up by 2.5% in April 2021, but the bigger forecast rise in 2022 will come at a time when unemployment is expected to be high.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will face a balancing act between keeping to a manifesto promise while addressing claims of intergenerational unfairness.

The UK state pension remains one of the less generous in Europe.

Near the end of each year, the government sets the level of state pension to be paid from the following April.

The increases ...

Nov 27, 2020 - Brexit: Trade negotiations between the UK and EU are still deadlocked

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses told  that their members really need to know what arrangements to make for next year after the UK leaves the EU’s single market and customs union.

A little progress has been made in the past several months with the negotiations between the UK and EU; however, the two largest barriers to a deal are future fisheries arrangements and the UK’s future state subsidy regime, which is a part of discussions over the so-called level playing field.

The level playing field is a trade-policy ter...

Nov 25, 2020 - Key points from Rishi Sunak's Spending Review

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his Spending Review and latest economic forecasts to Parliament on 25 November 2020. 

Rishi Sunak says the Spending Review comes as the coronavirus health emergency is not over and the economic emergency has only just begun, and it will be years before the country fully recovers.

Saying he will prioritise jobs, businesses and public services, the chancellor says the government is spending £280bn to get the country through Covid-19.

In his first Spending Review, the Chancellor told MPs the UK economy is expected to shrink by 11.3 per cent this year - the lar...

Nov 24, 2020 - Coronavirus update for immigration rules as of 24 November 2020

General policy

Some people who were in the UK when the pandemic hit were unable to leave before the expiry of their visa because of travel restrictions. The government had been allowing people in this situation to easily extend their visas through a simplified online application process, but that concession has now been replaced with “exceptional assurance”, a promise of extra time to stay that falls short of proper leave to remain.

Exceptional assurance was initially available only to those with a visa expiring up to 31 October, but has now been extended to 30 November as part of the second E...